Feet going numb in cycling shoes...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Feet going numb in cycling shoes...

    So I just switched over to SPD's (520's) and cycling shoes. I went out on my 2nd ride with them today, and maybe a half hour into the ride, my feet were starting to go numb. This happened on my first ride with this setup too.

    The shoes are Exustar ESM802 mountain shoes. They seem to fit well, and they got decent reviews on Nashbar where I bought them on sale.

    I LOVE the clipless setup, but the numbness is a downer. I had to stop ten miles into the ride to take a break and give my feet a rest.

    My first ride I thought I had laced them too tight, so today I didn't tighten them so much. Same problem.

    Is this normal for the first few rides - is there some sort of break in period for the shoes, or could it be a matter of cleat placement? I can feel that the sole of my foot over the cleat gets a little sore as well, I was thinking of buying thicker insoles for the shoes.

    Thanks for any info or suggestions!

  2. #2
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    Could be a number of things. Seat position, cleat position, foot angle while pedaling, shoes. See the thread below. For ways others cured the problem.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/beginners-cor...ep-740753.html

  3. #3
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    Thanks! Great thread, lots of good info in there. I'll start off by adjusting the cleats.

    Also, I had forhead slapping moment earlier this evening when I was thinking about the problem. I realized that while I had left the laces a bit looser, I still tightened the velcro strap pretty good.

  4. #4
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    I fought this as well when I first went clipless. The cleat position was my solution. I'd say start with just walking around the yard with your shoes on. If you don't have any numbness, then I'd try sliding the cleat back. I'm assuming you are riding the same bike/saddle that you had before clipless, so you can likely rule that out.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by car_nut View Post
    I fought this as well when I first went clipless. The cleat position was my solution. I'd say start with just walking around the yard with your shoes on. If you don't have any numbness, then I'd try sliding the cleat back. I'm assuming you are riding the same bike/saddle that you had before clipless, so you can likely rule that out.
    Also try wearing them for a long period of time - such as in front of the TV or whilst browsing MTBR Forum (word on the street is that all dedicated riders wear their gear whilst on MTBR).

    If you feet go numb whilst having your shoes on for a while without moving, then they are not the shoe for you. Sometimes walking around the yard isnt long enough, sometimes it is though.

    Road shoes tend to also be narrow compared to MTB shoes.

    I tried both for a while, and eventually went back to flats. For me it was keeping my feet 'locked' in the same position for several hours, where as I would usually shift my feet around a bit for comfort.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips.

    I just got back from a 35mile ride, and it wasn't as bad today. I had left the velcro strap a little looser, and that seemed to help. I still had some discomfort into the ride, but it wasn't as bad nor did it come on as quickly.

    I'll mess around with cleat placement. I looked at them before the ride,and I found that they were already all the way back. I figured I'd only try one change at once, so I left them alone and just loosened the velcro strap. Next ride I'll try maybe moving them up a little.

    And good tip about wearing them around the house, I'll do that. And these are mountain shoes, btw.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    And good tip about wearing them around the house, I'll do that. And these are mountain shoes, btw.
    Only on the carpet!!! (I'm sure you know this, but I don't want to assume and have you post pictures of divots all over your floor!)

    Just to be clear, it's having the cleat to far towards the toe that usually causes numbness. Good luck getting it sorted. I spent my first year in clipless chasing the same issue.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by car_nut View Post
    Only on the carpet!!! (I'm sure you know this, but I don't want to assume and have you post pictures of divots all over your floor!)

    Just to be clear, it's having the cleat to far towards the toe that usually causes numbness. Good luck getting it sorted. I spent my first year in clipless chasing the same issue.
    Haha, yeah. Luckily I have carpet and tile, no hardwoods to mark up. Although the nice thing about these shoes is that the cleats really don't protrude past the tread of the shoe, so I don't think that's much of an issue anyway.

    So what was your final result with the problem? Did you solve it, or just give up and go flats?

  9. #9
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    If your cleats are already as close to the heal as possible and your laces are snug, not tight and your toes are still going numb, you may just be working your muscles harder and drawing more blood from your feet to your legs.

  10. #10
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    I had the same issue a while back, my bike shop recommended stiffer soled shoes.....problem solved!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    So what was your final result with the problem? Did you solve it, or just give up and go flats?
    There was no single change that solved it, but here is what finally led me to happy toes:

    1) New shoes with a larger toe box.
    2) Said shoes were the typical 3 strap. I left the front 2 most straps completely loose and the primary just tight enough to prevent chaffing. I also realized that the perfect tightness would feel too loose at the start of a ride but feel perfect 15 minutes in.
    3) Changed to a "heel down" pedal stroke. I realized I was following my running form(toe strike) and which sort of pushed my foot into my shoe. Going to a heel down pulled my foot back into the heel.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    I'm wearing the shoes right now, so I'll see how they feel in a few hours.

  13. #13
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    So just an update-

    I've gone a few more rides since then, and they're much better. I left the laces and velco strap looser than I had been, and tried to adopt a more heel down pedaling position. I had noticed I'd been doing the toe down position. I think that was a big part of it, becasue after making an effort to adjust that, I rode for an hour nonstop with no numbness.

    Hopefully that did the trick! I plan on going for a longer ride tomorrow, so I'll see what happens then.

    Thanks again for the advice!

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